BREMEN — The Bremen Lions preserved a share of the lead in the Northern State Conference as they defeated conference foe Jimtown 55-49 at home Friday night.
Both teams started slow, feeling each other out with neither team doing much on the offensive end.The Jimmies held a 10-8 lead after the first quarter with junior Cory Waycaster scoring six of their points.
The Lions were able to slow Waycaster down in the second quarter, holding him to just two points for the quarter and were also able to get on a roll themselves. Bremen started the quarter on a 13-5 run with senior Ethan Pike scoring eight points during the run, including two three-point plays, one from behind the arc and the other the old-fashioned way. Senior Jacob Box also got into the action in the second quarter, scoring seven of his 20 in the stanza. The Lions led 31-23 at the half behind their senior leadership.
"Ethan can score the basketball," said Bremen head coach Ryan Eakins. "He struggled tonight with his shooting percentage. He missed some shots he normally makes, but he also has to let the game come to him a little bit more. They were focusing on him very hard and he kind of forced some shots at times, but he's a player and he can score."
"Jacob Box played the best game I have ever seen him play on both ends of the floor," said Eakins. "He was our best player tonight in ways, and I was very, very proud of him. He had excellent decision-making in all facets of the game. He played like a senior tonight."
In the third quarter, Bremen was able to jump out to a 41-26 lead with about three and a half left in the quarter, but the Jimmies stormed back on an 11-0 run to close the quarter, tightening it up to 41-37 Lions.
Bremen held a six-point lead, 48-42 with 3:52 left in the game, but Jimtown would not go away quietly.
Down only two with 2:19 left in the game, the Jimmies missed a pair of free throw attempts. Bremen junior Kai Slough hit a free throw of his own with 1:24 left to stretch the lead to three, but Waycaster was able to close the gap to one with about a minute left in the game.
Then Pike was sent to the line with 49.7 left and hit both free throws. On the ensuing Jimtown possession, Pike forced a difficult shot, collected the rebound and hit Box at the other end with a fullcourt pass. Box then made the uncontested layup to put them up by five with about 25 seconds left in the game. That shot would seal it as the Jimmies were only able to add on one more freebie with Bremen hitting a couple of their own.
With the win, the Bremen Lions improve to 9-6 overall and 4-1 in the NSC and will continue to hold a share of first in the conference. With the conference championship potentially on the line, the Lions will travel to Triton on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Jimtown falls to 5-10 overall and 2-3 in the NSC.
• BREMEN 55,
Score by quarters
Bremen: 8 31 41 55
Jimtown: 10 23 37 49
BREMEN (55): Jacob Box 20, Ethan Pike 20, Kai Slough 11, Ryan Topper 4, Dillon Mullen 0, Sam Lacher 0, Don Browning 0, Phoenix Ricketts 0; Totals: 15 21-29 55
JIMTOWN (49): Cory Waycaster 15, Mason Brown 14, Michael Hobbs 10, Alec Brown 4, Nick Floyd 3, Adam DeShone 3, Luke Crocker 0, Augie Farwig 0, Brody Olson 0; Totals: 17 10-18 49.
3-pointers: Bremen 4 (Slough 2) Jimtown 5 (M. Brown 2); Rebounds: Bremen 30 (Pike 11, Slough 6, Lacher 3, Browning 3) Jimtown 11 (Farwig 4); Assists: Bremen 9 (Slough 4, Browning 3, Pike 2) Jimtown 2 (Farwig, Floyd); Steals: Bremen 4 (Box, Pike, Lacher, Ricketts) Jimtown 4 (M. Brown 2, Waycaster, Olson); Turnovers: Bremen 9 Jimtown 11; Fouls (fouled out): Bremen 16 (none) Jimtown 22 (A. Brown).
Records: Bremen 9-6 (4-1 NSC) Jimtown 5-10 (2-3 NSC)